EAST DIVISION SEMIFINALS SERIES TRACKER
Charlotte wins series 4-2
Game 1: Charlotte 5, Hershey 4
Game 2: Hershey 4, Charlotte 2
Game 3: Hershey 3, Charlotte 2
Game 4: Charlotte 3, Hershey 2
Game 5: Charlotte 5, Hershey 3
Game 6: Charlotte 2, Hershey 1 (OT)
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Game 1: Charlotte 5, Hershey 4 – RECAP / SCORESHEET
Zach Boychuk and Drayson Bowman spearheaded a third-period comeback and the Checkers held on to beat the two-time defending champs 5-4. Zac Dalpe led the way with a goal and two assists, while Chris Terry and Brett Bellemore also scored. Winning for the first time this season against Hershey was goaltender Justin Pogge, who made 27 saves on 31 shots.
Bears netminder Braden Holtby allowed five goals on 28 shots and Hershey’s goals were scored by Steve Pinizzotto, reigning AHL MVP Keith Aucoin, Boyd Kane and Brian Willsie.
Game 2: Hershey 4, Charlotte 2 - RECAP / SCORESHEET
The Bears used three second-period goals to double up the Charlotte Checkers, 4-2, and tie the East Division Semifinal series 1-1. Hershey got goals from four different skaters and Brian Willsie scored the game-winning tally midway through the second period. Braden Holtby made 22 saves to earn his first win of the series.
Zac Dalpe had two goals on the night for Charlotte and leads all players with five points in the series (3g, 2a), while Justin Pogge made 16 saves in a losing effort.
Game 3: Hershey 3, Charlotte 2 - RECAP / SCORESHEET
After allowing three goals in the first 10 minutes, the Checkers clawed their way to within one, but couldn’t complete the comeback and the Bears won 3-2. Nick Dodge started the scoring for Charlotte on a 2-on-1 before Boychuk finished off a 3-on-1 with a one-timer into the top corner early in the third period. The Checkers made a late charge but couldn't beat Braden Holtby, who made 28 saves for his second win of the series. Appearing in his first game since Mar. 20, Mike Murphy made several key saves but was handed the loss.
Game 4: Charlotte 3, Hershey 2 - RECAP / SCORESHEET
Mike Murphy earned first-star honors with 35 saves and Nick Dodge scored the winner as the Checkers held off a late Hershey surge to win, 3-2, on Wednesday night. Nicolas Blanchard and Oskar Osala had the other tallies for Charlotte, while Matthieu Perreault scored both goals for Hershey. Braden Holtby stopped 21 of 24 Checkers shots in a losing effort. Hershey scored a late goal to pull within one but the Checkers' defense clamped down and earned the win.
Game 5: Charlotte 5, Hershey 3 - RECAP / SCORESHEET
After falling behind 3-0 midway through the second period, the Checkers scored five unanswered goals and shocked Hershey with a 5-3 win to take a 3-2 serie lead. Four of the Checkers’ goals came in the third period and Nick Dodge scored his second straight game-winning tally. Dodge now has seven goals in 13 career postseason games. Brett Sutter, Zach Boychuk, Oskar Osala and Drayson Bowman also scored for the Checkers, while Mike Murphy made 31 saves on 34 shots to earn the win.
The Bears got goals from Steve Pinizzotto, Mathieu Perreault and Andrew Carroll, but fell after Braden Holtby allowed four goals on 33 shots, including three on 13 shots in the third period.
Game 6: Charlotte 2, Hershey 1 (OT) - RECAP / SCORESHEET
Nicolas Blanchard scored 1:30 into overtime as the Checkers defeated the two-time defending champs, 2-1, and clinched the East Division Semifinal series, 4-2. Brett Sutter opened the scoring 35 seconds into the game and Mike Murphy made 26 saves, including several point-blank, game-saving stops. Bears defenseman Brian Fahey tied the game with 5:42 to play before Blanchard ended it on the second shift of the extra period.
Hershey was eliminated at home for the first time ever at Giant Center and first time since 2002 overall.
Zach Boychuk had at least a point in each of the six games in the series (3g, 4a)...Nick Dodge has seven goals in 14 career playoff games...Zac Dalpe and Bears forward Keith Aucoin led all players in the series with eight points each...The Checkers had 11 players register more than one point in the series...Charlotte outscored Hershey, 9-3, in third periods in the series...Hershey finished the series 1-of-28 on the power play.
“Charlotte takes early lead in playoff series” – Charlotte Observer
“Speedy Checkers rally for Game 1 win against Hershey” – The Patriot News
"Checkers lament missed road sweep" - Charlotte Observer
"Checkers postseason takes a bad bounce" - Charlotte Observer
"Dodge shot game-winning goal" - Charlotte Observer
"Faulk steps right in for Checkers" - CarolinaHurricanes.com
"To catch the eyes of the Hurricanes" - Raleigh News & Observer
"Faulk steps into pressurized situation" - CanesNow, News & Observer blogs
"Charlotte moves within win of eliminating champions" - Charlotte Observer
"Dodge makes unlikely contribution" - CarolinaHurricanes.com
"Fri. roundup: Checkers rally, stun Bears" - TheAHL.com
"Hershey Bears face elimination in Game 6" - The Patriot-News
"Ousting Bears won't be easy for Checkers" - Charlotte Observer
Series preview – GoCheckers.com
Series preview – TheAHL.com
AHL Morning Skate: April 21 – TheAHL.com